Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Guest Post By Ezra's Daddy: I Carry Him Wherever I Go (Words From A Babylost Daddy)

I carry him wherever I go…
What else can I do?

Hello again, my little man, it has been eight months since you left us,
Physically that is,
When we planted you in the cold, cold ground,
Just as many months as when you called your Mommy home,
Time sure flies when you’re grieving, it appears,
Except when it feels like an eternity of pain.

I remember that day just as if it were the worst day of all time,
Probably because it was.
Seeing you there, helpless and peaceful, tragic and comical,
How confusing to reconcile, it is—
The profound joy over seeing you for the first time,
With an abysmal sadness because it would be the last.

I never could hold a baby correctly, your Mommy can attest to that,
Seemed awkward for me, strained and a bit unnatural.
Yet the moment I saw you, something snapped into place,
And I knew what to do for my son,
And I held your head up, like the delicate and fragile treasure you are.

I carry you wherever I go…
Because I have no other choice.

The day we buried you,
And sent you back to your ancestors for safe keeping,
I had never thought I would have such an experience in life,
Placing you in that tiny casket,
But you were not alone—
You had your toy mouse to keep you company,
And your wool blanket to keep you warm in that cold, cold ground,
And your alligator suit for comfy sleeping,
Which fit nicely over your white shroud, in deference to your ancestors—
Because you have to meet them properly, with respect—
And a picture of your Mommy and Daddy,
So you won’t forget where you come from.

We got to read you “Goodnight Moon” before you left,
It was the least we could do, it was the best we could do,
It was all we could do, and it was all we needed to do,
And when I buried you in the ground, I shoveled that dirt
With all of the force I had in me,
As if I were shoveling for my life,
When I was really shoveling in honor of yours,
A memory of hiccups in your Mommy’s belly,
Of kicks when your Daddy talked to you,
Those long conversations we had, part knowledge and wisdom
Imparted to you,
Part silliness and games I shared with you,
Because you inherited your Daddy’s sense of humor,
Not to mention his lack of arch support—
Oh, those flat feet!—
And his curly black hair when he had curly black hair,
On his head and not just his beard, that is.
Never knew you’d have such character so early on.

I carry him wherever I go…
This I must do for him.

I had dreams of carrying you wherever I go,
Like that very first time I saw you,
I had dreams of carrying you to the store and to the park.
Now I must settle with carrying your picture in my pocket,
And your footprints engraved on the necklace around my neck,
So that when times are tough and unbearable—
And believe me they are,
And they will be again sometime soon—
You will give me comfort.

Some think I should forget about you, tho’ they’d never say it,
These things are for the best, it’s God’s way,
You couldn’t have been too attached to him, they’d say.
Plus, it’s always harder on the mother, you know.

But never underestimate a father’s pain
Over the loss of his child,
Whether by earthquake, famine, fire or flood,
Or unknown causes, or war, or through the barrel of a gun,
When I see you walking down the street, Babylost Daddy,
I’ll nod my head in acknowledgement,
No need for words,
And our pain goes beyond words, there’s nothing left to say,
And yet I have to write about it, must have a written account of this,
Of what happened those several months ago,
And what continues to happen in my mind, and in my heart.

So, we carry them wherever we go…
This we must do, in our mind, in our heart, in our pocket,
And even around our neck,
When we can no longer carry them in our arms.

8 comments:

Hope's Mama said...

David this is breathtaking. What a beautiful father you are.
Holding little Ezra, and his lovely Mummy & Daddy close today.

Lindsay said...

That was beautiful and well written. I wear my daughter's prints around my neck as well. It is, all we can do.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Much Love
Lindsay

Dani819 said...

That's beautiful, David. I am crying as I write this, thinking of you carrying Ezra in your heart when he should be in your arms.

Barbara said...

"I carry you wherever I go…
Because I have no other choice."

Nothing else to do.

Beautiful words David, thank you for sharing them.

xxx

angie said...

heartbreakingly beautiful, david. for some reason, goodnight moon, which i read to my daughter always tears me up, and now, when i read it i will think of it as ezra's book...with much love. abrazos y besos.

Samaria said...

David I am really sorry there are people out here who think that you should be over this by now I really am. It makes me so angry. You write so beautifully.

Paige said...

David, as the wife of a babyloss daddy who has chosen to box up his feelings and lock them away, I so appreciate hearing your voice, feeling your pain, though I wish I could take it all away and put Ezra back in your arms where he belongs. Thank you for writing. xo

Dalene said...

"How confusing to reconcile, it is—
The profound joy over seeing you for the first time,
With an abysmal sadness because it would be the last."

I remember this feeling so vividly, though I've never figured out how to put it to words...that amazing moment of seeing my son for the first time and then realizing that he was dead.